The Crown’s newest stars have been causing quite some buzz in the lead up to the season six. The latest additions to the cast are not only following in big footsteps — the likes of Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor had their careers launched by The Crown — but they’re playing the youngest “historical figures” yet.
Meg Bellamy, Ed McVey and Luther Ford have been tasked with playing Kate, Will and Harry respectively — quite the mantle, given that the life events they’re portraying happened less than 20 years ago. There was enough hubbub over dredging up the drama of Princess Diana and King Charles’s marriage, which was over 42 years ago, but these characters will be acting out events as recent as 2005, if we’re to believe what’s been teased by Netflix.
Bellamy and McVey were first seen in character as Will and Kate while out and about filming scenes in the Scottish town of St Andrews this March, where they’re likely to be portraying the early stages of the pair’s royal relationship. Luther Ford was first seen as Prince Harry a month later, in April, as he appeared to film scenes for Charles and Camilla’s wedding, which is expected to be the final resting point of the Netflix series. This is due to Peter Morgan’s so-called “20-year rule”, where he doesn’t infringe on the too-recent past.
"I’m much more comfortable writing about things that happened at least 20 years ago,” he told The Hollywood Reporter, “I sort of have in my head a 20-year rule. That is enough time and enough distance to really understand something, to understand its role, to understand its position, to understand its relevance."
As well as snaps from on-set, The Crown’s buzzy new stars are already taking their tentative first steps into the social circles they’ll soon inhabit, from appearances on the front row at London Fashion Week, to parties with Cartier and photoshoots with Hermes.
So who are these relatively unknown actors and why did producers think they suited the part of our Prince and Princess of Wales so perfectly? Here’s everything we know.
Meg Bellamy plays young Kate Middleton
Meg Bellamy, 20, known to friends and family as Meg Smith, will play university age Catherine ‘Kate’ Middleton in season six of The Crown. If you don’t recognise the name, don’t worry, Bellamy is a total newcomer who hasn’t starred in anything on screen prior to her casting in The Crown. Until very recently, Bellamy attended St Crispin’s comprehensive school in Wokingham, Berkshire (the same county Kate grew up in) where she was Head Girl.
Bellamy had a distinct interest in performance and the arts during her time at St Crispin’s and starred in a handful of school performances during her studies but, apart from that, has no official acting experience.
According to Deadline, she noticed the casting call for Kate Middleton on social media and submitted a self-taped audition, which is when she first caught producers’ attention.
Since her casting as the Princess of Wales became public, Bellamy has attended a number of star studded events. First was Vogue’s Bafta party at Beaverbrook Town House, then the Chelsea flower show in partnership with Vanity Fair and, most recently, JW Anderson’s London Fashion Week show, where she sat alongside the likes of Ben Whishaw, Ncuti Gatwa, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Alexa Chung.
Ed McVey plays young Prince William
Ah, the years when everyone thought William was fit. What a task — and treat — to carry this burden. Well, it’s all up to 22-year-old Ed McVey, the budding young actor who has been cast to play the young prince during his university years.
Unlike Bellamy, McVey is going into production of The Crown with some solid acting performance under his belt, though most of it has taken place on stage. His two-year age advantage on his co-star means he has had the time to attend drama school at The Drama Centre, Central Saint Martins’ acting contingent, which boasts many famous alumni, such as Simon Callow, Helen McCrory, Piers Brosnan, Gemma Chan and, more recently, The Rings of Power’s Morfydd Clark.
After graduating from the Drama Centre in 2021, McVey did a stint at the Old Vic as the understudy for main character Him in the play Camp Siegfried. “An absolute trial by fire but we came out the other side feeling amazing,” he wrote on Instagram, calling his moment on stage at the historic venue a “phat tick off the bucket list.”
So why Ed for William? Well, to start, the pair do bear a striking resemblance, especially back when ol’ Wills still had a full head of hair. Additionally, McVey’s acting CV advertises his ability to perform a recieved pronunciation "Queen’s English" accent, as well as training in firearms and snowboarding — three qualities which couldn’t sound more royal-adjacent if they tried. Sounds like he’s got it in the bag.
And he’s taking to the limelight like a champ. McVey was also spotted on the FROW of London Fashion Week this September, sitting pretty at Stefan Cooke. He was seen on the summer party circuit too, lighting up the guest lists of the Royal Academy of Arts summer preview and National Gallery summer party this June.
Luther Ford as Prince Harry
Little is known of newcomer Luther Ford, who was announced as the actor set to play Prince Harry this May. He attended the University of Sussex for his undergraduate degree and recently graduated from Arts University Bournemouth with a degree in directing.
Ford has made a series of short films and has more editing and directing credits to his name than acting. In fact, on IMDb, his only acting credit that isn’t The Crown is his appearance in his own short film, Dream Between, which he made in 2020.
He’s become very chummy with his co-star Ed McVey, and the pair have been taking their baby steps into fame together this summer. The pair were arm-in-arm at the National Gallery party, with Ford kitted out in full Burberry, and they also attended the Hermès show in Paris together this June.
This September he also showed face at London Fashion Week, rubbing shoulders with fellow Netflix royalty Mimi Keene, the queen of Moordale high school in Sex Education, at JW Anderson, as well as James McAvoy at Dunhill’s 130 year anniversary party earlier in the week.